Wednesday, March 15th, Brazilian strawweight prospect Valesca Machado will be in action for Invicta, where she will be looking to defend her Invicta title against Danni McCormack. She will be looking for another win, as Machado looks to keep her belt and potentially earn a UFC contract in the near-future. She represents MSP, a solid camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Striking: Machado’s best brand of fighting comes in her striking, as she possesses strong kickboxing with good technical skills. She has long limbs and uses her distance well on the feet to keep her opponents at the end of her striking. She mixes up her punches and kicks well, with both producing solid damage as they land and accumulate. Keeping her opponents at the end of her strikes also helps keep her out of shooting range, which makes it more difficult to take her down.
Athleticism: Machado is a good combination of quickness and agility, especially on the feet. While her physical strength is average as best, she’s able to get leverage in close quarter exchanges because of her long limbs and leverage. He speed and agility are big parts of her game, making her natural athleticism a major plus to her MMA game.
Defenses: Machado is a great offensive fighter, but sometimes her defenses on both the feet and ground can stymie her. On the feet, sometimes she drops her hands or does not read her opponent’s offense correctly. That means she can get tagged in exchanges. She has struggled in the clinch from time to time, being controlled by her opponents (as seen in her bout with Rodriguez). On the mat, she has solid jiu-jitsu, but the person on top can cut through her defenses if given the time to work (meaning Machado needs to work off her back better).
UFC Midcarder: Machado has proven that she is ready for the top level of strawweight MMA that is UFC in her recent wins over Karolina Wojcik, Ediana Silva and Liz Tracy. All of those were huge wins, and have shown that Machado has grown since her Contender Series loss to Piera Rodriguez. Now, with a title defense against big-show veteran Danni McCormack, who has Bellator experience under her belt, Machado is in the spotlight here. A win? A likely UFC slot by year’s end, where she could find some success if added to the roster.